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Family

All dressed up

mj

Here’s a photo of M and I taken at Matt and Julie’s wedding at the end of September. It’s definitely a keeper. I need to see if I can get a hi-res version for us to frame.

November 15, 2016
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I don’t want to be here anymore

Posted in Family, Friends, My Life

clouds

There’s no other way to put it: I don’t want to be here anymore.

I’ve held on to the notion that at some point, I’ll eventually have a life here in the Cities. Instead, over the last six and a half years, I’ve merely existed. Sure, I’ve had a relationship and formed a few friendships during that time, even gone overseas multiple times, but things definitely haven’t panned out like I thought they would.

I know that’s all on me. I could have, and should have, taken more advantage of what the Cities have to offer. I love Minnesota and I love the Cities, but I’ve never felt truly home here. It took one really good thing, and one really bad thing this year to finally make me see what I want in life isn’t here. More on that in posts to come. For now, I’ll just say it’s a weird feeling to realize everything you want is 600 miles away and you have eight months before you can get to it. Time passes quickly these days though, so I need to get moving on, well, moving.

I pretty much blew up my apartment this weekend. It’s a mess. I would post a photo, but honestly it’s too depressing, so you get clouds. I made great progress though. I donated four bags of clothes and took two bags of books up to Half Price. It didn’t really make too much of a dent in either, but it’s a start. I need to keep making progress before it gets cold and miserable out. I won’t want to do anything at that point.

My goal is to have my apartment down to fifty percent by January 1. Then by May, I want it down another twenty five percent. I basically want just enough stuff in my place to fill a U-Haul. I’m not planning on taking any furniture. It’s all Ikea anyway, and St. Louis just opened one, so I can buy new stuff when I get down there. I may take my bed, but we’ll see with that, too.

So that’s where I stand today. I’m going to keep plugging away at paring down what I can and can’t live without over the next few months, while making plans for the bigger questions in life: living and working. All I know is I’m extremely excited to be on the path that takes me to home to the people I want to be with.

September 12, 2016
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Something Special

Posted in Family, Friends, My Life

m01

M came to visit last weekend/early week for the holiday. It was an amazing few days. She is amazing. We talked about things I never thought we would talk about. We did things I’ve wanted to do for years (mind out of the gutter, please). We made plans for the near future and set things on the right path for the distant future.

With no disrespect for my past, I’m incredible happy to be walking down this new path with her. I’m really looking forward to seeing where we end up.

Also, that’s probably one of the best smiles I’ve ever been photographed with.

July 7, 2016
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To Barb

Posted in Family, Friends

Barb

Tomorrow I’m getting on a flight to St. Louis in order to pay my respects to one of the best people I’ve ever known, as well as support one of my best friends in his time of need. It’s something he would never ask me for, but then again, he wouldn’t have to. There’s no way I wouldn’t be there for he and his family in whatever capacity was needed.

Last Sunday, I got the call that we lost Barb. Barb is the mother of my buddy Matt, who I’ve known since 1995. For almost twenty years, she has been like a second mother to me. From the first time I came over to hang out with Matt, she was there to welcome me in to her home as if I were one of her own. If I were hungry, she fed me. If something was bugging me, she listened. That’s just how she was. She always put her family (and by extension, friends of her family) first.

I’ve been thinking a lot about the times I spent over at the house. I’d always bring in the accumulated newspapers from the driveway on my way in. I used to love hanging out in the living room, looking at the sale papers while talking about nothing and everything. Back before cell phones, I’d call the house phone to talk to Matt and she instantly knew it was me.

We used the kitchen table and main bathroom as our silkscreen and flyer assembly shop. We’d spend hours printing up t-shirts and patches, making show flyers. All the while she would be in the background, either fixing something in the kitchen, or conked out on the couch. That was pretty standard for Barb.

I will never forget being invited over for holidays. I’d often go over on Christmas day and hang out with the family. We’d watch the Sopranos or the Godfather most of the day during Matt’s mafia phase. For Thanksgiving, I’d come over in the evening after my family celebrations to have another Thanksgiving dinner with Barb’s siblings. It was never a big deal, never an inconvenience. I was just one of the family.

It’s safe to say if I wasn’t at home, school or work from 1995 to around 2005, I was probably over at Barb’s. Sadly, once Matt moved into his own place, and I moved up here for the first time, my relationship with her waned. It’s what happens as people move on to different places. I regret not keeping up with her more while I was up here, and even when I came back (and then moved up here again). I’d try and see Matt, but it almost never worked out that I would see Barb as well.

Just over a year ago I messaged her via Facebook, asking how she was doing. She was getting treatment for her condition and seemed in good spirits, though it was obviously taking a toll on her.

I hope Matt and Becky don’t mind me posting this, but I’d like to share a bit of that conversation here:

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02/06/14
Me: Hi! It’s been ages since I’ve seen you! I really need to get out for a visit the next time I’m in town. I’ve been thinking about you a lot lately. Matt filled me in quickly on what’s been going on. How have you been feeling lately?

Barb: Hi Jason, So nice to hear from you. I understand when you’re in town you are so busy. Would love to see you. I am miserable for about 5 days after the Chemo. For the next 2 weeks I’m just fine. I’m in a good frame of mind and staying positive. Matt and Becky are absolutely amazing. Wonderful love and support! Tomorrow is my 3rd treatment and the doc is comparing my last 2 scans to see if the tumor has shrunk at all. Got carried away here telling you what is happening. Oops forgot to tell you I have no hair. I’ll give you an update soon. Love, Barb

02/07/14
Barb: Hi Jason, Wonderful Day want to share the great news! The D. Said there is dramatic improvement. Tumor shrunk from 4.2×3.5 cm to 1.4×0.9 cm. Such a relief.

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And that was Barb. Always the fighter, always trying to remain positive. Even though she may be gone, her spirit will always remain in Matt and Becky, who even if they don’t realize it, are a lot like their mother.

I’ll miss you terribly, Barb.

February 11, 2015
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